"That's Nice, Bibi. Now Tell us How You Really Feel"
Some of you may already be familiar with the accompanying photo, which went viral on Facebook. For those of you who are not, what you are looking at is not some kind of ritual Israeli siesta; it’s “Bibi is a loser,” spelled out in Hebrew (לוזר ביבי) by disaffected Israeli soldiers protesting Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s announcement that Israel had agreed to yet another ceasefire with archenemy Hamas.
And apparently they did manage to strike a nerve, prompting Netanyahu to defend his decision with this statement:
I realize that there are citizens who expect a harsher military action and we may very well need to do that. But at present, the right thing for the State of Israel is to exhaust this possibility of reaching a long-term cease-fire. As Prime Minister, I have the responsibility, and it is the highest responsibility, to make the right steps to ensure our security. That is what I have done and it is what I will continue to do.
To which your faithful guest contributor responds, “ןכונ, כן” – “Yeah, right.” Instead, this statement by Joel B. Pollak would seem to come much closer to the truth, as well as to express the frustrations of both the pictured soldiers and other Israelis, who, like them, opposed the ceasefire:
When Netanyahu was elected in 2009, he ran on the promise that only he, of all Israel’s leaders, would be able to resist pressure from new U.S. President Barack Obama, whose intention to bully Israel was already clear. In this week’s cease-fire, however, Netanyahu is seen to have buckled to pressure from the Obama administration. Paradoxically, the Iron Dome missile defense system, which helped defend Israeli cities from rocket fire, has become a source of leverage for Obama, since U.S. military aid helps Israel defray its heavy cost.
In other words, any attempted obfuscations on Bibi’s part to the contrary, it’s clear what has really happened here, if for no other reason than that we’ve seen this kabuki dance played out so many times before, through successive U.S. presidential administrations. Once again, the American government and her State Department Arabists have pressured pressured Israel into not defeating her enemies. Is there anyone not suffering from Oslo Syndrome, who does not understand this?
One hopes, when this latest truce is broken, as inevitably it will be, that the umpteenth time will be the charm and that the Israelis will see it in their interest to go all the way with a Gaza version of Operation Defensive Shield that will pacify the Gaza strip and end the Hamas threat permanently. But if, once again, the U.S. intervenes and pressures Netanyahu not to pursue victory, and if, once again, Netanyahu, succumbs to that pressure, would it not be at least refreshing, and quite possibly helpful, if Netanyahu were to stand before his people, and the world, and simply tell the truth that everyone know? Would it not be the forthright and honest thing for Netanyahu, preferably with the U.S. Secretary of State standing beside him, to say something like the following:
In response to a series of attacks on our country and our citizens, the government of Israel called up its reserves as I will order our military command to prepare a ground offensive to conquer the Gaza strip, destroy Hamas and take all necessary steps to pacify the region and guarantee that Gaza will never threaten the Israeli people again, ever.
I am now countermanding my own order and instead ordering our military to stand down while I “negotiate” a new and – as has been the case in every past instance – utterly useless ceasefire through Egyptian president Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, patrons of the very people who initiated the hostilities.
But before I give this order, I want the Israeli people to understand that I am doing this for one reason and one reason only: because our most important ally, the United States of America, has placed on my government and on me personally an overwhelming pressure that no country – a small country, surrounded by genocidal enemies – can afford to resist.
I sincerely wish that the circumstances were different. I wish that the United States government possessed some knowledge of the geopolitics of the Middle East or at least a willingness to learn. Sadly, the U.S. president and his secretary of state have neither. But what they do have is power, and prestige and therefore, as wrong as I believe their order to be – and let us not mince words, an order is exactly what this is – the government of Israel has no choice but to comply.
I hereby humbly apologize and ask the Israeli people’s, and God’s, forgiveness for the destruction, injuries and deaths that we all know will result from this most horrible of decisions.
Mr./Madam Secretary, would you care to comment?
Yes, I know. But I can dream, can’t I?